January 19, 2021

Woakes: Positive batting crucial in chase

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“If you look to sit in on this wicket, particularly against the spin, there is probably one with your name on it”

Last Updated: 07/08/20 8:39pm

Chris Woakes took 2-11 as England fought back in Manchester Chris Woakes took 2-11 as England fought back in Manchester

Chris Woakes took 2-11 as England fought back in Manchester

Chris Woakes believes England need to bat positively if they are to win the first #raisethebat Test against Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford.

After giving up a first-innings deficit of 107, England’s bowlers dragged the hosts back into contention as they reduced Pakistan to 137-8, a lead of 244, at the end of day three.

Woakes impressed with the ball, taking 2-11, and thinks Pakistan’s bowlers could be aided in the fourth innings by a pitch that is already beginning to deteriorate.

“It will be a challenge,” he told Sky Sports. “We’ve got to come out in the morning and try and knock them over without them building any sort of partnership. That would be the ideal.

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“To chase this total down, I think we’ve got to do it pretty positively. You can’t just bat out there for a long time and not expect to have one with your name on it. We don’t want them to get too much further ahead of us, 244, hopefully they don’t put on too many more.

“When you lose the toss on a surface like this, you’re always going to be a little bit up against it, especially if there is a first-innings deficit. But, at the same time, we’ve given ourselves a chance.”

England were bowled out for 219 prior to their fightback with the ball and Woakes says they were disappointed not to get closer to Pakistan’s first-innings 326.

11:54
Watch the best of the action from a thrilling second day of the first Test at Emirates Old Trafford as Pakistan closed leading England by 244

Watch the best of the action from a thrilling second day of the first Test at Emirates Old Trafford as Pakistan closed leading England by 244

“It’s an exciting day four ahead, I suppose,” the 31-year-old seamer said. “We would have liked to have got closer to them on first innings but we are where we are in the game, we had an opportunity to go out there and try and bowl them out. Thankfully, we’ve got them eight down.

“With the bat, we’d have liked to have gone on and got a bigger score but when you lose early wickets like we did, I suppose you’re always trying to find those partnerships to go on and get a big score. We obviously tried to get as close to them as we possibly could.

“Then with the ball, we were just trying to hammer a good length, straight really. With the wicket showing a little bit of variable bounce, trying to bring the stumps into play as much as possible and then also the fine nicks were the dismissals we were looking for. We wanted to try and build some pressure and we did that pretty well.

Ollie Pope showed the type of positivity in England's first inning that Woakes has called for in the chase Ollie Pope showed the type of positivity in England's first inning that Woakes has called for in the chase

Ollie Pope showed the type of positivity in England’s first inning that Woakes has called for in the chase

“They’re certainly not completely out of the way and we feel that we can get them. I think we’ve got to come out and try and be positive as well. If you look to sit in on this wicket, particularly against the spin, there is probably one with your name on it.

“Obviously, we’ve still got two to get in the morning but I always feel that if you start well in a chase like that then you’ve got a chance.”

Watch day four of the first Test between England and Pakistan, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Saturday.